Making good decisions about prioritizing which public health issues to tackle and how to target our interventions rests on our ability to collect and analyze public health data. For infectious disease surveillance that means have a base of solid reporting and surveillance so we can analyze infectious disease trends. For chronic diseases, we need to know the behavioral trends and the demographic background so that we can target our resources effectively. That’s where our annual Behavioral Risk Factor Survey plays a role… our brand new 2010 Report provides key data that can be used to monitor and plan health promotion and help our public health system to better target our intervention strategies for chronic disease prevention in Arizona.
The (federally funded) Behavioral Risk Factor Survey is conducted throughout the year and examines the self-reported habits of 4,700 Arizonans. The report contains key data on lifestyle risk factors contributing to the leading causes of death and chronic diseases- and measures the public health system’s progress on smoking, overweight, high blood pressure, exercise, flu/pneumonia vaccination, cholesterol, seat belt use, fruit/vegetable consumption and other risk factors. These data give us some of the tools we need to set priorities and craft intervention strategies. Judy Bass was the point person for this year’s report. Well done Judy!